Frontiers in Psychiatry (Journal)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication Peer-review


Social cognition relies on two main subsystems to construct the understanding of others, which are sustained by different social brain networks. One of these social networks is the default mode network (DMN) associated with the socio-cognitive subsystem (i.e., mentalizing), and other is the salience network (SN) associated with the socio-affective route (i.e., empathy). The DMN and the SN are well-known resting state networks that seem to constitute a baseline for the performance of social tasks. We aimed to investigate both networks’ functional connectivity (FC) pattern in the transition from resting state to social task performance. A sample of 38 participants involved in a monogamous romantic relationship completed a questionnaire of dyadic empathy and underwent an fMRI protocol that included a resting state acquisition followed by a task in which subjects watched emotional videos of their romantic partner and elaborated on their partner’s (Other condition) or on their own experience (Self condition). Independent component and ROI-to-ROI correlation analysis were used to assess alterations in task-independent (Rest condition) and task-dependent (Self and Other conditions) FC. We found that the spatial FC maps of the DMN and SN evidenced the traditional regions associated with these networks in the three conditions. Anterior and posterior DMN regions exhibited increased FC during the social task performance compared to resting state. The Other condition revealed a more limited SN’s connectivity in comparison to the Self and Rest conditions. The results revealed an interplay between the main nodes of the DMN and the core regions of the SN, particularly evident in the Self and Other conditions.
Period6 Dec 2021
Type of journalScientific journal


  • social cognition
  • Default Mode Network
  • resting state
  • functional connectivity
  • Self/other processing